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Rob Brooks Considers the Ashley Madison Hack: 30 Million Relationships – But Not all Cheaters

Sex, Genes and Rock ‘n RollRob Brooks, evolutionary biologist and author of Sex, Genes and Rock ‘n Roll: How evolution has shaped the modern world, recently wrote an article about the hacking of Ashley Madison and all the ethical questions it has raised.

Ashley Madison is a Canada-based social networking service providing online dating to people who are already married or in a committed relationship.

In the article, Brooks writes about the “moralist crusade” that Impact Team, who have now leaked the account details of many users, are carrying out against websites like Ashley Madison and Established Men, as well as their users. He considers the severely negative consequences their actions might have.

Read the article:

But some people seem bouyed by the whole business. I’m intrigued by the level of schadenfreude; so many people are relishing the slow implosion of Ashley Madison and the exposure of millions of people’s most embarrassing intimate details. What disappoints me most is how the exposure of 30 million people is being shoe-horned into a one-size-fits-all view of sex and relationships. How this is all about “cheating”, and that infidelity means the same thing in every relationship.

We might not like to admit it to ourselves, but relationships differ enormously from one another. So do the reasons people have sex, both within and outside of committed relationships. Yes, a great many – probably most – Ashley Madison clients were furtively seeking extra sexual partners without the knowledge and consent of their long-term partners. And many did so despite their relationships being otherwise functional, productive and respectful. This kind of infidelity has its victims: the partners who remain at home, pouring their selves into the shared enterprise of coupledom, unaware that the other party isn’t matching their effort and commitment.

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